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Case Studies

  • National Center for Juvenile Justice

    • This was a major upgrade that has enhanced our ability to gather and organize large, complex data sets and translate them into easy to use reports. Many thanks to Simply Bits and Sitefinity for the great platform that is furthering our goals as the primary national source for unbiased information on the US juvenile justice system!

      Author: Patricia Campie Company: Director of NCJJ

    • Client: National Center for Juvenile Justice
    • Industry: Non-Profit
    • Project website: http://www.ncjj.org/
    • Implemented by: Simply Bits
    • Industry
    • Background
      The National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ), located in Pittsburgh, PA is the research division of the private, non-profit National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and is the oldest juvenile justice research group in the United States. NCJJ has been conducting national and sub-national studies on crime and delinquency since 1973, and was founded by the Honorable Maurice B. Cohill, Jr., now a Senior Federal Judge in Pennsylvania's Western District Court.
    • Challenge
      NCJJ required a standard interface to provide potential users a consistent interface to NCJJ and allow access to previously hard to find content and documents. The content was spread across several domains and NCJJ needed to reorganize existing content, as well as build a content and document management system that would give better research tools for justice officials. Organizing and searching can be a challenge as they serve up customized data that is localized for hundreds of unique non-tribal and tribal juvenile justice systems across the country. As their process has grown over the years, there was a need to migrate manually collected legacy data into a search friendly format that would be concise to the needs of their varied end users.
    • Why Sitefinity
      Sitefinity offered the user-friendly CMS NCJJ needed to allow website management to be shared by staff with varying technical skill levels. Sitefinity also provided a platform to build and integrate the NCJJ information library. In addition the platform offered a diverse menu of interactivity and social media modules with options for simple modifications allowing non-technical staff the ability to maintain and grow the site.
    • Technology Highlights

      Sitefinity 3.7
      Asp.Net 3.5
      Microsoft SQL Server
      Adobe Flash
    • Results
      Simple – from static site to promotional site to full Corporate site in 3 easy steps. Sitefinity is flexible and allows rapid changes and re-deployment of content transition – meaning the transition went without a hitch.
  • The Challenge

    Since 1973, NCJJ has been a key information clearinghouse, providing research to support decision-making for juvenile justice officials. Tracking and maintaining their large database of historical information can become cumbersome as there are 51 non-tribal juvenile justice systems in the United States, not including over 500 recognized tribal governments, which often have their own specific juvenile statutes. NCJJ required large scale improvements to their content and document management systems, including robust search tools.

    From its inception to the onset of the Internet, NCJJ had volunteers and staff on hand to take phone calls and respond to mail from probation officers, judicial officials, and others looking for best practices regarding juvenile issues. This was essentially done on a one-to-one basis. Staff would turn to the NCJJ library and other resources in order to prepare packets of material regarding each specific case and mail those packets to the inquirer. This method was very time consuming and needed to be automated, while ensuring that information would be locally accurate and customized to the user’s needs.

    Over the years NCJJ developed a large library of information regarding juvenile issues. As the library grew the organization was able to publish it to the web, however the information was displayed in a flat HTML format that was not very interactive to the users. NCJJ engaged Simply Bits to help solve the usability issues as well as to provide a way to publish the large amount of relevant data that NCJJ has collected over the years that was not yet electronically accessible.

    The Solution

    NCJJ released an RFP looking for solution providers in a national search, and turned to Simply Bits for the
    redevelopment of the site after seeing the approach and capabilities leveraging Sitefinity for the CMS platform. Simply Bits immediately noted the CMS architecture needed for NCJJ had to be easy to use across various technical skill levels and flexibly enough to handle an integration of the NCJJ Information Database in a highly searchable format.

    Using Telerik’s Sitefinity as the CMS platform, Simply Bits could offer everything NCJJ needed, including the ability to handle requirements that had yet to be defined. Jason Green, lead developer for Simply Bits, states: “We love the open architecture of Sitefinity, as this allows us to extend the existing architecture to cover the customizations that NCJJ required, without introducing any unnecessary complexity.”

    During the development of both the NCJJ website and the resourced integration, Simply Bits developers were able to take advantage of many of the out-of-the-box features of Sitefinity. Simply Bits was able to quickly implement several web designs for review by NCJJ within Sitefinity. Next, Simply Bits implemented a custom backend module in Sitefinity that allows NCJJ staff to maintain a complex mapping of topics, states, staff contacts, and publications which are exposed on the public site with both search and browsing capabilities. They were able to leverage the Telerik AJAX controls to customize standard asp.net user controls used to search and display the NCJJ resources delivering a richer experience to the end users, and NCJJ makes good use of the Sitefinity user accounts and backend online administration to allow many members of the staff to maintain the system.

    The Results

    NCJJ is extremely pleased with the new website. Sitefinity and Simply Bits implemented a solution that allows more NCJJ staff to be involved in the maintenance of content on the website. Juvenile probation officers, judges, and other advocates now have easier access to important information, and the look and feel of the website better represents the quality of this organization. Traffic growth has maintained a consistent incline since being launched and through the use of Sitefinity the NCJJ staff continues to maintain closer relations with the end users than ever before. Patricia Campie, Director of NCJJ states: “This was a major upgrade that has enhanced our ability to gather and organize large, complex data sets and translate them into easy to use reports. Many thanks to Simply Bits and Sitefinity for the great platform that is furthering our goals as the primary national source for unbiased information on the US juvenile justice system!”

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